If you are someone who climbs mountains for fun, or finds other such hobbies enjoyable, you may find this story ridiculous. But if you are someone who sometimes freaks yourself out against your better judgement, and for no apparent reason, then read on…
This morning, I went to a different park for my walk because the place I typically go to has been full of workers with heavy equipment who are making seasonal improvements to the park.
And even though I started out early, the alternative park was full of people, and some weren’t being respectful of social distancing. The thoughts I was having about this were rather distracting from the vibe I wanted to create for myself, so I decided to walk out of the park and along the country roads back to my car.
Those who know me well, say that I am “directionally challenged”, but this one seemed like a no-brainer. I knew what direction I had come from, and the walk back to the car seemed like it should be quick and easy.
Well, I was wrong about that, and it also turned out to be less than a straight shot.
The road I needed to turn onto was actually much further down than I had anticipated. It was also rather isolated, and I began to worry that I was going to end up on a Dateline special.
But I kept walking. And as I turned onto the next road, I still couldn’t see my destination yet. That’s when my thoughts started to get unreasonable.
Am I heading in the right direction?
What if I’m not?
What if I underestimated the distance so much that it will take me several hours to get back to my car?
What if my blood-sugar level drops while I am walking?
Y’all, none of this made any sense!
For one thing, I KNEW I was heading in the right direction. There was simply no way to mess this one up.
And, I had my cell phone with me. If it did turn out to be a seven-hour hike back to my car, I could have easily called someone, even if it would have been an absurd call to make.
Finally, I wasn’t even in a hurry. Sure, I had things to do today, but my first session with a client wasn’t until later in the afternoon.
I should also mention that I am not diabetic, and I ate a protein bar on my way to the park. I mean, I’m pretty sure we humans can go for more than two hours without eating or drinking anything anyhow.
As thoughts ping-ponged through my mind, I spent the rest of my walk being very curious about them.
I thought it was interesting how the moment my trek didn’t go quite as planned, my mindset went straight to thoughts of fear and worry. And then the fear exacerbated when my destination wasn’t in sight, to the point that I started to question my direction.
I also thought about how many times I’ve observed this happen with my clients when they begin moving forward towards their dreams. Initially, they are all gung-ho, enthusiastically taking action.
But the moment things don’t go quite as planned, they begin to doubt themselves and their plans.
Maybe I’m not ready for change?
Perhaps I need to prepare more, or maybe this is just beyond my capabilities?
This could be a sign that I’m going in the wrong direction.
What if I’m making a mistake and I ruin my life?
It’s so interesting, because typically they are moving in the direction they have wanted to go in for a very long time. It’s the reason they started life coaching with me in the first place. It’s the thing that lights them up.
As an observer, it’s obvious to me that they are creating limitations for themselves based on self-imposed fears. But it never feels that obvious when it’s happening to you.
That’s why I tell my clients, “I will hold belief for you, even when you are struggling to believe it for yourself.”
And I encourage them to keep going, even when they can’t completely see their destination yet. Just like on my morning walk, I had to keep going even as my mind was telling me, “You’re going the wrong way!” Tenacity is the name of the game.
I also help my clients rediscover the belief they had when they first began moving forward, before the doubt set in.
Pivots and adjustments are always to be expected. They are not a sign that something has gone wrong. They are just part of the process.
So, I am hoping that you will keep these things in mind if you start doubting yourself as you take steps forward towards your dreams.
Nothing has gone wrong.
It’s just your brain telling you an outlandish story.
And, it’s all part of the process.
Keep going. You’ve got this!